It won’t be in showrooms until the end of the year, yet the Chevrolet Bolt has been named Car of the Year by Motor Trend. The all-electric compact has a range of 238 miles and GM is promising a price that is under $30,000 minus a tax rebate. MT editors said “the most impressive thing about the Bolt EV is that there are no caveats and no ‘for an electric car’ qualifiers need in any discussion.”
Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year was the 2017 Ford Super Duty while the SUV of the Year was the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC. “You know you’re getting into a Mercedes as soon as you open the door to the GLC. The quality of the materials and the elegance of the design are very consistent with the Mercedes-Benz brand proposition and reputation,” said one of the judges, Mike Accavitti.
Tesla’s Model X will get some competition in 2018 from Jaguar. Last night in Los Angeles, the cat took the wraps off the I-PACE electric. Ian Callum, Director of Design, said: “The I-PACE Concept represents the next generation of electric vehicle design. It’s a dramatic, future-facing cab-forward design with a beautiful interior – the product of authentic Jaguar DNA, electric technology and contemporary craftsmanship.”
The I-PACE has electric motors on the front and rear axles with an output of 400hp and 516-lb ft. of torque. Jaguar said the electric will accelerate from 0-60 mph in around four seconds. Backing up its claim that this is more than a concept car, Jaguar said, “To be one of the first owners go to jaguarusa.com and click the ‘I want one’ button.”
It has been on sale overseas for some time, and now Ford has announced on Hollywood Boulevard that its Fiesta based EcoSport crossover is coming to the U.S. Ford said it is aimed at those who want space saving convenience and SUV capability. The top-of-the-line SES features Intelligent 4WD, sport-tuned suspension and steering, and copper accents for the interior and seats. An 8-inch screen gives front-row occupants easy access to available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto commands, and B&O PLAY audio settings. Engine choices will be a 1.0-liter three or a 2.0-liter four. Look for EcoSport in early 2018. It is about a foot shorter than the Ford Escape.
Fiat Chrysler said it will vigorously contest a class action lawsuit filed against it by a Seattle law firm that alleges some of FCA’s Ram trucks powered by Cummins diesels may not comply with emissions laws. Cummins is also named in the legal action involving heavy duty pickups.
Electric cars don’t make enough noise and that could cause problems for pedestrians, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is proposing that hybrid and electric vehicles meet minimum sound standards in order to help make all pedestrians more aware of the approaching vehicles. “Our proposal would allow manufacturers the flexibility to design different sounds for different makes and models while still providing an opportunity for pedestrians, bicyclists and the visually impaired to detect and recognize a vehicle and make a decision about whether it is safe to cross the street,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.